While a critical and commercial failure, Stephen King says that Babylon could be considered a true classic over time.
When Babylon was announced as Damien Chazelle’s next project after First Man and near-Best Picture winner La La Land, many expected it to be a major contender on the awards circuit. With a cast of Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie and seemingly serving as a love letter to the history of cinema, what could stop it from sweeping the Academy Awards? As it turns out, a lot, as Babylon would only get three tech nods, with the film flopping at the box office and facing criticism for being self-indulgent, over-the-top and perhaps containing two or three too many bodily fluids. It’s very much a love it or hate it sort of movie, but will it one day be deemed a classic that went misunderstood during its release? According to author Stephen King, it very well could be.
Posting on social media after a viewing of Babylon, King said, “Maybe this says more about me than the film, but I thought BABYLON was utterly brilliant–extravagant, over the top, hilarious, thought-provoking. Might be one of those movies that reviews badly and is acclaimed as a classic in 20 years.”
Personally, while I wouldn’t call the movie “brilliant”, there is a lot to be admired about it in how much it is. Imagine if Elizabeth Berkley’s character from Showgirls was locked in a room with cocaine and ChatGPT and told to write a remake of Singin’ in the Rain. That is Babylon. On top of that, it has what is maybe the decade’s best original score (rightfully nominated alongside the production and costume designs).
Responding to the poor reception of Babylon, director Chazelle said there is no ill will towards viewers. “It’s an interesting thing of, where you make something, and then I do believe that it sort of becomes–once the filmmaker finishes the movie–the audience’s, and that includes the critics, includes everyone. And everyone’s gonna have a different take on the film. And I think they’re all legitimate.”
What did you think of Babylon? Could it leave its reception behind and become a classic in 20 years? Give us your take below!